lYl Photography » San Diego | Lifestyle | Wedding Photographer

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  • Welcome!

    I’m so glad you decided to stop by. If you are excited about your wedding, then I am. It is not just about capturing images of your day, but creating an experience that will last a lifetime. If you are interested in connecting, please fill out the contact form. And let's grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and discuss your wedding day vision.

    Live life,

    Jacob Bechtol


Saying YES to Each Other

If only fools rush in, I want to be a fool for you. 

Weddings are intenese, there is a tremendous amount of planing that goes into pulling off the perfect day. In the midst of all the work, of planning your wedding, don’t forget your WHY..

Your wedding day, is you chooisng each other.

Your wedding day is you saying YES to each other in front of freinds and family.

Your wedding day is about love.


Best Day Ever

I love you too much…

At yesterdays wedding, I posted a picture of the dessert table. Standing proudly above the assortment of delicous sweets, in big gold letters were the words, BEST DAY EVER. As I uploaded the picture to Instagram, I asked my followers to describe their best dav ever in three words. But try as I might, I couldn’t find a best day ever. (maybe because I’m still singel…)  No single day shone over the rest. Was it the moment I switched the tassel on my gradition cap? or was it swimming in waves of the Pacific as a tropical thunderstorm sent a gentle rain over the waves? or perhaps it was baking christmas goodies with my family?

I couldn’t decide, and you know what? I’m ok with that. My best days, are the simple days. The days with the soft sounds of music mingling with the voices of the ones I love. Carefree days, where life is lived: simply and completely.


As they danced arm in arm, under the clear blue sky, among the apple trees, through the sparse grass. I love you too much, were the words softly wafting from the speaker on my iphone. Though the needle on the thermometer was closer to 1oo, than wanted. It was a perfect day.

Brittany and David were visiting home, and we were taking engagement photographs. But more than that we were living life. I didn’t want the focus to be on posing them. The focus wasn’t where their arms were, or what angle their heads were tilted. They were in love, and by the end of the session I wanted to remind them why they were saying YES to each other.

That didn’t mean we didn’t capture photographs, it meant that the photographs were taken to remember their WHY. Glimpses of joy and happiness, the photographs, were meant to bring smiles and to make memories.

they said, I Do at Torrey Pines

I love you and you love tacos. Let’s get married!

Is there a better way to begin a love story? Once upon a time, is getting old and boring. Before we begin this tale of love. I want you to scroll down to the second picture, don’t get lost scrolling. Come on back and read the instructions before you embark on the adventure. This picture of the Torrey Pines Wedding ceremony sets the tone for Sandra & David’s wedding day. And it is my prayer that it sets the tone for their marriage.

The couple you see with the bride and groom are David’s grandparents. They had been praying for this day, and had their whole church praying as well. You see it was pouring rain hours before this picture was taken. When I drove past Torrey Pines earlier in the afternoon, it wasn’t just misting or overcast. It was raining, and this is San Diego.

I called Ashley, the wonderful wedding planner, and asked what the plan was. I’ll never forget her words, “The bride says rain or no rain, this is happening.” Remember that picture? Did anyone seem wet or did you see any umbrellas? Around 2pm that day, the rain let up, and the wedding party arrived at Torrey Pines for pictures. Pictures y’ll want to see and then come back and see again. There wasn’t water falling from the sky, but it was overcast and windy. The ceremony was scheduled for 5pm. After capturing the beautiful details and wonderful bliss of the wedding day, it was go time.

As if they were on a timer, the clouds, those angry grey clouds, rolled back. Almost like a curtain being pulled back to let the sunshine in, the clouds drifted away revealing the sparkling Pacific Ocean below and the beautiful sun setting in the distant horizon.

During the ceremony, the couple had asked diffrent couples in their lives to share a few words. Sandra’s sister shared this poem, with relfections from her daughter. Sadly, I don’t have the additions from the daughter, wisdom only a five year old can share. Below is the Shel Silverstein poem.


If we meet and I say, ‘Hi,’
That’s a salutation.
If you ask me how I feel,
That’s a consideration.
If we stop and talk a while,
That’s a conversation.
If we understand each other,
That’s a communication.
If we argue, scream and fight,
That’s an altercation.
If later we apoligize,
That’s reconciliation.
If we help each other home,
That’s a cooperation.
And all these actions added up
torrey pines wedding ceremony


the Amazing Vendors

Coordinators: CCL Weddings & Events i.e. the talented Ashley 

Makeup: Tara Nelson 

Ceremony: Torrey Pines Preserve

Reception: Moniker Warehouse 

Florist: Sarah’s Flowers

Photobooth: Smile Cam

Cake & Cupcakes: Jenni

Magician: Leo

Rentals: Cedar & Pine

Bartending: Sweet & Salty Bartending Service

DJ: Jett Barnes


Hold them in Your Hands

Turn up your volume, and let this play as you read this blog post.

This weekend, I spent Sunday with a recently engaged couple, Richard and Elizabeth. Two weekends prior, waiting for the morning fog to burn away. I stood atop the hillside with their friends and family. As Richard waited to surprise the girl of his dreams, he had roses in one hand, and a little box in the other. With a question burning on his lips, he waited. Pulling off a surprise that only God in His grace can give, Richard asked the question. He proposed.

And she said YES.

This story is less about that moment….and more about what you see below. Though I had planned to share prints with the couple at a coffee shop. It wouldn’t have been fair to wait. Handing Elizabeth a brown package tied neatly with string, I watched as she tore away the paper, revealing what was underneath. It must have been thirty minutes later that they looked up. There were a dozen photographs in the envelope. Yet together with Elizabeth’s mother sitting by their side, they had laughed and poured over the moments of time shared in the photographs. Remembering the details of the day, what had happened and who was there, they relived those moments. Each photograph breathing life into their story, and reminding them once again why they are saying YES to marriage.

hold them in your hands


Photography is NOT about pictures, the value lies far deeper. Photographs are a medium of emotion. Photographs should be held in your hands and close to your heart. You have five senses, engage them all as you relive, and remember the day you said, “I Do.” If I had texted or emailed a gallery link to Richard and Elizabeth, I doubt that they would have spent half an hour looking at twelve photographs. They would likely be wondering why there were only twelve, five minutes later.

Take this image from their proposal for instance. It is more than a picture. With the ice in my vanilla latte slowly melting, I had started to edit the photographs from the proposal. Sitting at Augies Coffee shop, I had glanced up from my editing, distracted by a random person walking into the room. As I looked back down, I saw the ceiling lights reflecting onto the glossy screen of my Macbook. It was the start of something new. Taking what started out as a couple standing on a hillside, with the browning grass slowly waving in the breeze. I created picture inception. This is a picture of a picture. Using my iPhone to capture the lighting reflecting off my computer screen, and editing the photograph in such a way that brought the couple into focus. I was able to distill this precious moment in time. To refocus the energy and capture a vision unique to Richard and Elizabeth.

laguna hills proposal